Seafields Receives $310,000 Innovation Grant For New Carbon Removal Approach

Seafields Receives £250,000 Innovation Grant For New Carbon Removal Approach - Carbon Herald

A UK-based aquafarming startup Seafields offers an interesting and innovative carbon removal approach utilizing nature’s carbon sink abilities. It harnesses the ocean to grow huge amounts of Sargassum seaweeds to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it in the ocean. 

The company announced it has received a grant award from Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency, worth £250,000 ($310,000) to develop its technology in the Atlantic Ocean.

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The award will be used to test the technology that according to the company, will “help fix the climate, restore the oceans and alleviate humanity’s dependency on oil”. It will conduct upwelling pipe trials that will take place at possible sites in Northumberland or Devon. The trials will test the pipes that will distribute nutrients to the aquafarms to provide long-term carbon sequestration in the “ocean deserts” where there is very little ecological activity.

Seafields develops offshore aquafarms to cultivate Sargassum at scale, contained in custom-designed barriers to prevent the seaweed from escaping while being fertilized by upwelling of nutrient-rich deep-sea waters. It wants to store large quantities of seaweed at over 4,000 meters below sea level in the Atlantic Ocean to trap atmospheric carbon away for thousands of years with minimal impacts on existing ecosystems.

When harvesting the Sargassum, the company plans to extract key nutrients and other components that can be used in a variety of products like bioplastics, biofertilizers and biofuels. The rest of the biomass will be compressed, baled, and sunk to the ocean floor in specially-selected areas where it will remain stored for around 1,000 years.

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“Our ultimate vision is to build a farm that is 0.02% of the planet’s surface, the size of Portugal, in the south Atlantic sub-tropical gyre, by 2032. As it’s a grant from Innovate UK, these trials need to be completed in the UK. Luckily we have some of the best facilities in the UK to complete a trial like this, where we need an abundance of seawater close to some infrastructure we will purpose-build on land,” commented Seafields Co-Founder and CEO, John Auckland.

According to Seafields, the Sargassum in its farms can sequester about 107 metric tons of CO2 per hectare per year. The company’s goal is to research, develop, monitor and fine-tune the best and most effective methods to sequester 1 gigaton of CO2 from the atmosphere each year without causing harm to the surrounding environment.

1 comment
  1. You’re talking about 1 gigaton in 2025, Seafields itself are talking about 1 megaton in 2025. Who’s right?

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